Ironman v. standard steel sprocket


35 replies to this topic
  • kawirider

Posted November 28, 2006 - 08:15 PM

#1

I need to get a new set of sprockets and a new chain BADLY. My teeth are seriously worn. Only problem is my dad wants me to pay for it. :worthy:. I have enough money for the Ironman but I dont really want to spend that much. Would I get the same amount of life from a sunstar or JTsteel sprocket? I mean its only 1lb of differance..... Also, o-ring or x-ring? I know that x-rings will last longer but I dont want a chain that will outlast my sprockets because that would be a waste of money. Thanks for the help!

  • grayracer513

Posted November 28, 2006 - 08:18 PM

#2

1.4 pounds, and unsprung weight at that.

http://www.qualitysm...are_rears_3.jpg

Plus, the JT and Sunstars are lower grade steel, so, no, they won't really last as long as an Ironman either. But they are cheap.

  • ThumperKid250F

Posted November 28, 2006 - 08:40 PM

#3

ironman, i still have my first set on my 2004 250f and i put them on my 06 yz 450f with a o ring chain, there the only sprockets i will buy :D :worthy:

  • LVThumper

Posted November 28, 2006 - 08:53 PM

#4

The Ironman sprokets are spendy and they will be my next set! I have friends who have been racing desert on theirs for what seems like forever! They appear to last 4-5 times longer than aluminum! :worthy:

  • sic

Posted November 29, 2006 - 05:40 AM

#5

I got my first set of Ironman's in the spring of 2006. Raced every weekend. They are incredible. Must be made out of metal salvaged from an alien space ship. There is no wear after 1 year on a YZ450. Particularly interesting is the ironman countershaft (only a 13 tooth on my YZ450) and even it shows no wear !!! Normally I would have chewed threw 2 Sunstar's countershafts in one year. Again, "alien" metal. That is the only explanation.

Sic

  • Ga426owner

Posted November 29, 2006 - 05:44 AM

#6

Motosports outlet 194.00
Ironman front and rear and DID ERT2 gold chain.......this is all you need. Only sprocket to offer a 1 yr guarantee and I have much more time on mine :worthy:

  • devo1

Posted November 29, 2006 - 05:47 AM

#7

Whatever sprockets you end up with, get new bolts for them. I learned the hard way. I had a bolt break and it shattered my hub.

  • LJ

Posted November 29, 2006 - 12:31 PM

#8

I think Rockymountainmc.com has got a deal on steel sprockets/0-ring chain combos real cheap. I've got a steel rear/front sprocket with a DID O-ring and it has lasted for over 5 years. Granted, I don't ride as much as I want to (probably less than 30 hours/year), but it's been bullet proof. I don't notice the weight, but I mostly do trail riding with an occasional bout on a natural terrain motocross track. Weight is not the big of an issue to me, I'm too slow to notice.

  • warrior86

Posted November 29, 2006 - 06:08 PM

#9

i have an ironman on my 250f and love it. When its time for one on my 450, i will definately be puttin an ironman on that as well. You get what you pay for!!!

  • flintlock28

Posted November 29, 2006 - 06:13 PM

#10

The Ironman is well worth the money. I've got over a year on mine, and it has barely any perceptible wear at all. It looks almost like the day I put it on. 04' Yz450f.

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  • Kyle Prior

Posted November 29, 2006 - 09:17 PM

#11

I needed new sprockets, so I got a couple Tags while my bike is down for a motor rebuild.. Ill let you guys know how they wear and all that. The are VERY light though.

  • grayracer513

Posted November 29, 2006 - 10:36 PM

#12

The Tag on the back of my '03 is about 1.5 years old. It does show some wear, but it's still good.

  • undrdog

Posted December 01, 2006 - 07:19 AM

#13

I have used Ironman sprockets in the past with good success. But with the price they want for a set now I switched to a no frills steel combo that last a very long time. The Sunstar Z sprocket may not be the prettiest piece out there, but its an excellent choice for the bang for the buck factor. Plus its narrow, staggered tooth design makes it a great choice for mud. Compared weight to my 50 tooth Tag sprocket(13 ounces). The Z sprocket weighs in at 27 ounces, and cost me less than $25.00 ..... http://i24.photobuck...og/000_0465.jpg

  • Blue4Ever

Posted December 01, 2006 - 02:17 PM

#14

Moose makes a rear stainless steel sprocket for $79.95.

  • DigilubeJay

Posted December 02, 2006 - 05:40 AM

#15

The ironman sprocket is very popular sprocket for sure, but for economy they may not be the best choice.

When it comes to the "wear factor" and how long a particular sprocket will last, it is mainly dependant on how well the chain is maintained. After all, it is the pitch change of the chain links that effect the tooth profiles of a properly adjusted chain drive to a point that it will be "worn out". If the chain pitch length stays within proper limits, a sprocket can and will last, and last.

You can run a quality aluminum sprocket through the serviceable life of several chains, providing you always have proper adjustments and maintain the drive properly. And "properly" maintained includes only running the chain until it has reached it's recommended serviceable limits. Once that wear point has been reached, both the chain mfg. and bike maker suggest, in clear print, to remove the chain from service.
Sure we can run the chain past safe recommendations, but at the risk of accelerated damage of both the chain and other components, like the sprocket teeth. We can also run other consumable parts of our bikes past the bike makers recommendations, but at the same risks.

Now it is clear that a carbon steel sprocket has a higher strength than a sprocket made of aluminum. And the laws of material physics also shows that there are steels that are much harder and resiliant than other steels.
In the case of the Ironman sprocket, they have used a super hard chrome steel, and they can impress you with the numbers that accompany that material. But the thing is, it has been proven that a top quality aluminum sprocket can handle whatever is thrown at it, as long as the chain and adjustment is good.

When we find ourselves in a position that we need a harder material sprocket, it will most assuredly be because our chain is wearing out our sprockets for some reason. It may be because the chain is maladjusted, or because it has grown past specified length. Or it may be because the chain is carrying a collection of gunk it created from carrying around some crappy gooey lube and dirt...but it is for sure not because your sprockets aren't hard enough.

The need for a harder sprocket is a bandaid for one or more points of improper maintenance.
Thats not to say that it isn't an option for many. It clearly is. But if you are truely interested in properly maintaining your investment, then you will have to consider that you may well be better off saving the money you would spend on a gimmick sprocket, and use an inexpensive sprocket. Use the extra coin to purchase a better quality chain, and do your best to keep the chain alive as long as it can until it reaches its service limit, and you will be much better off.

Now there will still be those who will say that I'm full of bullshit, and that their Ironman really rocks and the best thing since ring chains...but just consider that there are millions of motorcycles in the world, and being mfg'd every day that have aluminum sprockets on the back.
If we really needed to have a more robust, superhard, sprocket on the back, why would they still be putting the softer ones on?

Bottom line...
You can use an aluminum sprocket for many, many hours and several chains, if maintained properly. But if you chose to be a bit lax in maintenance, which is fine too, a standard steel sprocket may be an option for you, as you could go through three of them before paying for one Ironman. And you wouldn't wear out the first cheap steel sprocket if you only take good care of the chain.:worthy:

  • grayracer513

Posted December 02, 2006 - 09:19 AM

#16

I totally agree that the quality of the chain is of the utmost importance in the longevity of the final drive system, as is reasonable maintenance of tension and lubrication. I also agree that there is nothing that will eat a sprocket like a chain worn over-length.

I do want to add to that that the tolerance allowed in the Yamaha manual, which specifies the chain be replaced at 2.5% longer than manufactured pitch, is a little generous, and a chain run at 2% or more will misfit the sprockets badly enough to cause accelerated wear. I recommend the chain be replaced at 1.5% over-length if the sprockets are in reusable condition, and you want to keep them that way.

But the thing that is overlooked in the above post is the effect of the environment on the drive train. There very simply is no amount of maintenance, and no miracle chain lube that will keep the dirt off the sprockets and chain, especially in muddy or sandy conditions. You can use lubes that will discourage, or at least will not encourage, it from sticking there, but if you're going to ride through the stuff, you can't keep it off. There is also no amount of protection that any chain lube can provide that will prevent the abrasive grit in that dirt and sand from wearing at the contact faces of the sprocket.

As a result of riding in the desert a lot, I have had more than one rear sprocket wear out while the chain was still under 1% stretched. My CR500 went through 3 on a single chain once. The wear this produces is distinctly different in appearance to that caused by a stretched chain, and you can easily tell one from the other. Stretched chains wear at the tops of the load bearing side of the tooth, and give it a "pulled froward", or "bent over" look. Abrasive wear with a chain the correct length wears the load bearing side of the tooth, too, but it stays the right shape. Under these conditions, the tooth looks upright, and fairly normal, but is thinner than it should be, and the front edges of the roller pockets will look to have moved forward, so that they are half-oval, rather than half-round.

That kind of wear is what can be reduced by the use of either hard anodized aluminum sprockets, like Tag or AFAM, or steel sprockets.

  • Kyle Prior

Posted December 02, 2006 - 10:17 AM

#17

As a result of riding in the desert a lot, I have had more than one rear sprocket wear out while the chain was still under 1% stretched. My CR500 went through 3 on a single chain once. The wear this produces is distinctly different in appearance to that caused by a stretched chain, and you can easily tell one from the other. Stretched chains wear at the tops of the load bearing side of the tooth, and give it a "pulled froward", or "bent over" look. Abrasive wear with a chain the correct length wears the load bearing side of the tooth, too, but it stays the right shape. Under these conditions, the tooth looks upright, and fairly normal, but is thinner than it should be, and the front edges of the roller pockets will look to have moved forward, so that they are half-oval, rather than half-round.

That kind of wear is what can be reduced by the use of either hard anodized aluminum sprockets, like Tag or AFAM, or steel sprockets.


This is the exact type or wear I have recieved on my sprockets, and the exact type of riding the bike has always done..

  • AMA_whymee

Posted December 02, 2006 - 05:09 PM

#18

I read this thread with great interest. I am just getting back into racing from a 7 year abscence and I am in need of replacing my chain & sprockets.

Some really great info here. My take on what has been said is that it isnt so much the sprocket, but (usually) the chain that wears out the sprocket. So the question begs to be answered, " Whats the best chain"?

I used to run Krause Sidewinders (chain & sprockets) and got a whole year out of them. I do not know if they lasted more than that because I always got a new bike for the next year. I was considering their Ti-metal and the Ironman. But I really think I need to consider my chain first.

I ask again, what is the best chain? I just hope I do not start a flame war, I am looking for info, not attacks....

  • steve_97060

Posted December 02, 2006 - 05:23 PM

#19

I do want to add to that that the tolerance allowed in the Yamaha manual, which specifies the chain be replaced at 2.5% longer than manufactured pitch, is a little generous, and a chain run at 2% or more will misfit the sprockets badly enough to cause accelerated wear. I recommend the chain be replaced at 1.5% over-length if the sprockets are in reusable condition, and you want to keep them that way.



Gray, so how do you perform this chain measurement for wear?

  • kawirider

Posted December 02, 2006 - 09:44 PM

#20

^^^^ yeah what he said. I would rather buy some ironman sprockets and a DID chain and be done with it then buy some cheap sprockets and be buying chains every 2 months. Seems to me that going for sprocket longevity can be a lot more expensive.





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